I recently interviewed Associated Content Contributor Peter Flom. He has been a member of AC since July of 2009 and somehow manages to be a father, a statistician, and a writer all at once. A wide variety of topics can be found in his AC library, but my favorite piece of content written by Peter is Should Gifted Children Be Accelerated Through School? He makes some interesting points that should be considered by teachers and parents. Be sure to check out his work, as well as read the following interview to learn more about him.
How Did You First Find Out About Associated Content?
I write a lot on daily Kos, and Associated Content was mentioned by a diarist I follow in a series called Frugal Fridays.
Do You Freelance For a Living or Do Something Else As Well?
Freelancing is very much a sideline. My main job is a statistician. Currently, I work 3 days per week at SUNY Downstate, a hospital in Brooklyn, NY, but I will soon becoming a full time independent consultant. Mostly, I work with graduate students and academics in the social sciences, education, medicine, and other fields.
Tell Us a Little More About Yourself
I’m a husband, a father, and a learning disabled person. I’ve lived in New York City almost all my life (except for 3 years in Israel) and I love it here. Hobbies include reading (science fiction, mysteries, science, mathematics, history, biography and other things), eating (especially ‘ethnic’ food, special favorites are Thai, Korean, Italian, most Asian countries, and Latino/Caribbean cuisines) and blogging.
What is the Best Thing About Publishing with Associated Content?
What I like best about AC is reading comments on my articles, reading the forums, and reading some of what other people are writing. I also like that I can write about whatever I like – I may not get many views, but I can put articles up on whatever I want, and then I can refer people to them.
What do You Hope to Accomplish at Associated Content?
At first, I thought it would be making money, but that hasn’t happened much for me; I think my articles are a bit esoteric. Then I thought I might get a client or two – and this still might happen. I’m also learning about SEO, which I hope will help me in other social media in terms of building my business. I’d also like to use my articles to share some of what I know – mostly about statistics and learning disabilities. Finally, I’ve found a few people to follow, who write articles I find interesting to read.
Can You Tell Us More About What a Statistician Does?
It varies tremendously; theoretical statisticians are a lot like mathematicians, they prove theorems. I am much more an applied statistician, but even that is a very broad field. One way to look at it would be to say we sort signal from noise. But what I do is help researchers in the social sciences, medicine and other fields design studies and understand the results. This can mean all sorts of things – e.g. What factors are associated with injecting illicit drugs? Does sleeping in a different position decrease the pressure in your eyes? What is happening to the polar bear population in Alaska? What factors are associated with risky sex? How does HIV spread through a network of people? It varies! I like that.
Which Piece of Your AC Content Means the Most to You and Why?
On Verbal Abuse
My original title for this when I published it on daily Kos was “The scars don’t show, the wounds don’t heal”. It got a lot of positive reviews; people have asked me to post it twice a year. The problems of verbal abuse of children are huge, and very under-appreciated, and I think I really got at some of them. This is one of the best things I’ve written …. although I am still working on improving it.
What are Three Other Favorite Pieces of Content You Published With AC?
Things Not to Say to Learning Disabled People (or their parents)
The Stages of Acceptance of Learning Disabilities
The Joy of Participatory Learning
What Advice Would You Give to New AC Contributors?
Figure out what you want out of AC. How you write, and what you write, will depend on your answer. If you are relying on AC for income, you’ll need to treat it as a job; but if you just want to have fun with it, that’s cool too. Ask for help in the forums – the people here are almost all very friendly.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I look forward to continuing to publish on AC!